Irish banks lagging behind in digital services, survey finds

Banks falling down on personal finance management and investment services

While Ireland’s banks do well on information gathering and sharing, day-to-day banking and expanding relationships beyond banking, they need to do more in the areas of personal finance management and investment services.” said David Dalton, partner and financial services industry leader, Deloitte Ireland. Photograph: Reuters

While Ireland’s banks do well on information gathering and sharing, day-to-day banking and expanding relationships beyond banking, they need to do more in the areas of personal finance management and investment services.” said David Dalton, partner and financial services industry leader, Deloitte Ireland. Photograph: Reuters

 

Irish banks are behind their global counterparts in providing digital services to customers, a new survey has found.

The Deloitte Digital Banking Maturity Study, a benchmarking study of digital retail banking channels, ranks Ireland as a latecomer compared to other countries, although it is moving closer to the adopter category.

That compares with banks in Turkey, Spain, Poland and Russia, which are classed as digital champions, and offer customers a range of functionalities, setting key digital trends and have leading market practices. Among those “digital champion” banks are BBVA, Santander and Mbank.

“While Ireland’s banks do well on information gathering and sharing, day-to-day banking and expanding relationships beyond banking, they need to do more in the areas of personal finance management and investment services.” said David Dalton, partner and financial services industry leader, Deloitte Ireland.

“A customer-centred approach, recognising the importance of user experience as a key differentiator driving customer satisfaction, coupled with good design and function is critical to digital success. Simple, straightforward changes packaged together would help to improve the global ranking of Irish banks and, most importantly, provide better customer service and loyalty.”

Challenger banks

Mr Dalton said banks like N26 and Revolut would remain in the challenger bank category until they could offer a full suite of services, such as mortgages and pensions.

“If they were to make moves towards offering those services it would certainly shake up the traditional landscape of the five pillar banks here.”

The Digital Banking Maturity 2020 is the fourth edition of the study, and is based on the input of almost 5000 customers of 318 banks worldwide. Banks are ranked in four categories: digital champions, smart, adopters and latecomers.

Among the areas in which Irish banks could improve to see their ranking rise are the improvement of information gathering by explaining the processes, charges and offering live chat functionality; offering family current accounts with easy opening functionality; and making personal finance management tools more valuable for clients by adding options to support budgeting and contextual offers.

“This study highlights an opportunity for Irish banks to make a big leap forward with their digital services,” said Deloitte Partner and Digital Financial Services leader, Yvonne Byrne.

“The path is clear and the market is open for a bank to deliver great customer experience on the basic day-to-day banking services and start exploring bigger, bolder moves to disrupt the market here before competitors take the opportunity to lead the charge.”